The American Optometric Association reports that over seventy percent of employed persons that sit daily from a computer monitor (over 140 million individuals) experience computer vision syndrome or eye fatigue. Prolonged periods of working in front of the computer can cause eye strain and impact eyesight in kids and adults. If you spend more than two hours on a daily basis in front of a computer you are likely to experience symptoms of CVS.
Signs of Computer Induced Eye Fatigue
Signs of Computer Vision Syndrome include vision problems such as dry eyes, blurred vision, inability to focus or double vision and muscular pain such as headaches, neck aches and heavy eyes. If you notice any of these symptoms you may be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome.
Causes of Computer Vision Syndrome
Eye strain from prolonged computer use results from the need for our eyes and brain to compensate for viewing characters on a digital screen differently than they do for characters on a page. While our eyes have little problem keeping focus on printed content that contains solid black font with well-defined borders, they have more difficulty with characters on a computer screen that lack the same amount of contrast and sharpness.
Characters on a computer screen are composed of combinations of tiny dots of light (pixels), which are brightest in the middle and diminish in intensity as they move outward. Consequently, it is more difficult for our visual processing center to maintain focus on this text. Rather, our eyes prefer to drift to a reduced level of focusing called the ''resting point of accommodation'' or RPA.
Through involuntary movements, our eyes revert to the resting point of accommodation and then have to make a great effort to focus on the text. This continuous flexing of the eyes' focusing muscles creates the symptoms listed above that commonly occur with extended use of a computer or digital device. Computer vision syndrome isn't only a concern for computer users. Other digital gadgets such as cell phones or iPads can result in the same eye fatigue and in some cases more severe. Because handheld screens are smaller in addition to pixilated the user often strains even more to stay focused on images.
Computer Vision Syndrome Treatment
If you are at risk for computer induced eye strain, you should make an appointment with an optometrist sooner than later.
At a computer vision exam, the eye care professional will perform tests to detect any vision issues that might contribute to computer vision syndrome. Depending on the outcome of these tests, your practicioner may suggest prescription computer eyeglasses to help you work more efficiently at your computer screen. An anti-reflective coating is highly recommended for computer eyeglasses. An anti-reflective coating reduces reflections on the front and back surfaces of the lenses that cause glare and affect your ability to focus on images on your screen.
Ergonomics for Computer Vision Syndrome
Ergonomics, or physical changes to your work environment to limit the need for your eyes and your body to accommodate in unhealthy ways, can help reduce some physical symptoms of computer related eye strain. Proper lighting and frequent breaks will help to some extent. However, very often computer eyeglasses are also required to fully eliminate CVS.
If you think you are suffering or at risk of CVS, contact our Lafayette, LA optometric office.